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7 Steps to build a business case for an Enterprise Inventory & Cost Management Platform

Financial institutions and large enterprises consume a broad range of services on a subscription basis to meet their complex business needs – from software and hardware to market data, research and subscriptions to telecoms, legal and consulting expenses.

Many are fed up with spreadsheets and manual processes used to manage these subscriptions and realize their firm would benefit from implementing a centralized enterprise inventory system & cost management platform. Maybe this is you, but are finding it difficult securing budget and selling the concept internally? In that case, here are 7 steps that you can take to help secure buy-in from senior management and other influencers.

Step 1: Identify Stakeholders

First, Identify the key stakeholders and decision makers. Who are they? And what are their motivations, goals and challenges? Once identified it then becomes easier to paint a clear picture of how a market data inventory platform can help these stakeholders to achieve their goals and address their challenges.

Take for example the chief operating officer or equivalent – a key concern of theirs is how to scale operations while managing costs. In this case, it’s crucial to demonstrate how a platform that can centralize all the information about your third-party services spend and contractual obligations will save significant time and money.

Step 2: Explain the Benefits

Senior managers want to see the impact on the bottom line, so it’s important to clearly outline the costs involved and to identify the potential ROI. Be clear about how an implementation or migration project would be managed and the timescales involved. Establish and maintain a clear communications program with your target decision. Listen carefully to their feedback and objections.

Step 3: Demonstrate ROI

Understanding and communicating ROI is key to justifying the expense of a project of this scale. The first step here is to assess how invoices are currently being managed to ensure compliance with contractual terms and identify redundant services to save costs.

Step 4: Determine Build vs. Buy

The decision to buy or build can be difficult - Buying is typically cheaper and faster and you leverage external expertise - whereas building provides greater control and flexibility. Problems with building can occur with scope creep, or when your original developers leave, resources and budgets are limited leading to dissatisfaction in users who require additional features or development, or manual workarounds are developed as a short cut.

Step 5: Conduct Cost-Benefit Analysis

With market data inventory and enterprise cost management platforms, the supplier market is a mature one, where the products have been developed over many years to cater for a wide range of needs and to deliver a high level of flexibility. It’s worth conducting a cost benefit analysis (with enough margin for the inevitable scope creep) of your own development with the overall cost of buying an external platform to see what you think will get you the better return.

Step 6: Secure the Budget

For any enterprise project, building the business case and securing budget takes time, but adding a sense of urgency to proceedings can help. It’s valuable to consider the cost of not moving. Address things like; How much does it currently cost to manage your information and services spend? Where are the inefficiencies? What capabilities would help you better cost management? Focusing on current costs, inefficiencies and the risk of non-compliance with supplier contracts, is useful to securing sign off for additional budget to support your business case for a market data inventory platform.

Step 7: Perform Due Diligence

It’s crucial to test supplier knowledge of invoice management processes, reconciliations and analytics. The decision-making process should involve a walk-through of prior implementations or migrations to explain the process, internal resource requirements and timelines. Client testimonials from any suppliers involved can also be useful to ensure that they have the technical and management capabilities required to deliver a smooth transition process.

So, you have successfully built your business case and now need an Enterprise Inventory & Cost Management Platform

It can seem an impossible task to deliver the right combination of services to the business while reducing costs. Especially if you are lacking a single view of your entire subscription environment, and an easy way to generate reports. With a central and automated inventory and cost management platform you can save time, money and resource!

Optimize Spend brings all your enterprise subscriptions – including market data, legal research and other subscriptions – into a central platform, making it easier to manage and optimize subscription spend. It puts information on your vendors, contracts, products and services for every user in one place, giving you a single view of your entire inventory.

Want to learn more about Managing your Enterprise Data & Subscriptions Spend, and building your own business case?

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